Children give you so many things. They give you a chance to relive your childhood. They give you a sense of pride. They give you immense joy.
My daughter gave me Celiac Disease.
I broke out in a rash the month after I gave birth to my beautiful little girl. And I’m not just talking about an annoying little itch. I’m talking about a painful wake-me-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night itch that does not go away. The rash was so excruciatingly itchy that I wanted to scratch my skin off. Sorry about the details, but I want you to understand my discomfort.
I went to my doctor, an allergist, and four (yes, four) dermatologists. No one could figure out the cause of my rash. Everyone just kept telling me that my body was all out of whack from the hormones of pregnancy. They told me I just had to wait it out. Cause that’s what you want to hear from the doctors – just wait it out. So for two years that’s what I had to do.
Just before my daughter turned two we moved to New England. I did a lot of research and found a dermatologist that was highly recommended. After one appointment and some tests they called me with a diagnosis. I had a skin rash that comes with Celiac Disease.
I asked the doctor how this could happen. I had never had any problems with food before. My doctor’s response: “You had something growing inside you for nine months that was 50% not your DNA. It completely messes your body up.” Hm. Good point doc.
So I had to cut out all gluten from my diet. That meant all wheat, rye, and barley. Wheat is in everything – bread, cupcakes, pizza, soups, chips, pasta. They even put wheat flour in chapstick. I knew that motherhood would come with some sacrifices. I just didn’t realize I would have to sacrifice cupcakes. Within a month of going gluten-free, the rash that had tormented me for the last two years was gone. God bless my new dermatologist.
Being gluten-free was a lifestyle change that I was definitely not prepared for when I signed up for parenthood. But it is what it is. And as I begrudgingly lovingly spread cream cheese on my daughter’s painfully aromatic bagel (she does not have any issues with gluten) I try to remember that sometimes sacrifices must be made in the quest for something good. And when my sweet girl smiles and thanks me for her lunch, my ever-present food envy lessens a bit. Being a mother is worth it.
But damn I want that bagel.